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Things Will Get Better
Lauren took her ear buds off. She could hear them. Her parents were arguing again. But this time it was different. It was louder.
Ever since she was 5, Lauren’s parents would argue… about EVERYTHING. Bills, vacations, chores, what was for dinner… you name it. Lauren would always stay out of the way.
Lauren got off her bed and walked to her bookshelf. She picked up her journal and opened it to a blank page. “Mom and Dad are arguing again.” She wrote. “I’m going to go see what it’s all about.” Lauren closed her journal and threw it on her bed. She left her room and went down the hallway. As she made her way to the staircase, the yelling intensified.
“I’ve told you so many times!” yelled Lauren’s Dad. “Don’t you understand?!? We can’t afford for you to take a trip!”
“Why?!?” yelled Lauren’s mom right back at him. “I haven’t visited my family back in Italy in such a long time.”
Lauren was now watching them. She took one step down the staircase.
“I don’t care about your family. Besides where would you get the money for the trip? You don’t work. And I’m still paying off this house!” her dad yelled.
Lauren walked down a couple more steps debating whether or not to go intervene.
“I don’t care what you say!” her mom yelled back. “I want to go visit my family!”
“You don’t care what I say… huh?” Lauren’s dad yelled, his face turning red. “I’ll make you care!” Lauren’s dad took his right arm back and swung his arm, punching Lauren’s mom in the face.
Lauren gasped. She blinked. She hesitated for minute then ran up the stairs and sat on her bed. Lauren grabbed her cell phone. “What do I do?” she thought to herself, her adrenaline levels rising. She slowly dialed 9-1-1. “Should I do it?” she thought. Flashbacks of her dad hitting her mom went off in her head. Without much thought, Lauren hit the talk button.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” a female voice said.
“Umm,” started Lauren. “My dad… he just hit my mom. I think she’s bleeding.”
“Ok,” said the operator. “I have units on the way. Can you tell me a little more about the situation?”
“Umm,” Lauren responded. “I heard my parents yelling earlier but I didn’t think much of it ‘cause they’re always fighting. I was walking down the stairs when my dad hit my mom and I came to my room and called.”
“Ok,” said the operator. “Just sit tight hon, the police are on their way.” And with that, the operator hung up.
4 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Lauren stood at the top of the staircase. Her dad, who was drinking a beer, went to the front door. He opened the door and in front of him stood two police officers.
“We received a report that some domestic violence was happening at this location. Do you know anything about that?” the taller officer said.
“What the…” Lauren’s dad responded, his voice trailing off.
“Mind if we come in?” asked the shorter officer.
“Uhh… no,” said Lauren’s dad as the two officers walked through the kitchen and arrived in the living room where Lauren’s mom was lying down on the couch with blood coming out of her nose and an eye that was slowly turning purple.
“Ma’am,” the tall officer started, “Did this man hit you?”
“Umm,” Lauren’s mom started, “Uhh… yeah… yeah he did.”
The shorter officer put Lauren’s dad in handcuffs. Lauren’s mom sat up straight.
“Wait… what are you doing?” she asked, panic in her voice.
“Ma’am,” the short officer said. “By hitting you, this man has committed a crime. The only way we can take him away is if you decide to press charges.”
Lauren’s mom hesitated. Lauren came rushing downstairs. She had been watching the whole thing from the staircase.
“Do it mom,” she said. “Press the charges. You’ve been dealing with this for so long. It’s time dad learns his lesson.” Lauren’s dad looked at Lauren with a confused look on her face.
Lauren’s mom wiped the blood off her upper lip that had trickled down from her nose. ‘Ok,” she said. “I’ll press charges.”
The officers grabbed Lauren’s dad’s shoulders and started walking him towards the front door.
“I’ll change things!” he yelled. “I promise. When I get out, things will be better!” And with that the front door was closed.
Lauren’s mom started crying. “Things will get better Mom,” Lauren said, hugging her mom. “Things will get better.”